Director’s Message

The oil and natural gas industry continues to be the economic cornerstone in West Virginia, and its potential is enormous. The Mountain State is the fourth (4th) largest U.S. natural gas producer, producing nearly 10 percent of the nation’s natural gas. We also rank fourth in proven gas reserves.

Most importantly, robust natural gas and oil activity is generating once in a lifetime opportunity for West Virginians. The natural gas industry is the state’s top-paying sector, and study by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) commissioned by the  American Petroleum Institute (API), showed the natural gas and oil industry supported more than 73,000 jobs in West Virginia, with an estimated $4.8 billion in wages, AND contributed nearly $13 billion toward the state’s economy.

According to the findings, in 2021, the industry directly and indirectly:

  • Supported 73,120 total jobs (25,460 direct and 47,660 indirect) or 8.5 percent of West Virginia’s total employment.
  • Generated an additional 1.9 jobs elsewhere in West Virginia’s economy for each direct job in the state’s natural gas and oil industry.
  • Provided $4.8 billion in labor income ($1.9 billion direct and $2.9 billion indirect) to West Virginia, 9.9 percent of the state’s total. 
  • Contributed $12.9 billion to West Virginia’s total gross domestic product ($8.1 billion direct and $4.7 billion indirect), 15.0 percent of the state’s total. 

Since 2008, our industry has contributed more than $2.06 billion in state severance taxes and another $1.76 billion in county property tax revenues.

Our annual publication, “Gas Facts,” offers the most recent production and economic impact data. It’s a snapshot of where we are today:

  • Natural gas production increased more than 6% from 2021 to 2022—exceeding 2.8 trillion cubic feet.
  • Oil production held steady at over 15 million barrels produced.
  • Severance tax collections in FY 2023 topped $713 million from gas, oil and natural gas liquids. This share accounts for more than 70% of the $1 billion allocated to the General Revenue Fund this year.
  • Property tax contributions increased by more than 100% from 2022 to 2023—a whopping $184.7 million.
  • Natural gas users – households, businesses, manufacturers – have saved over a $1 trillion since 2008 because natural gas production increased in the Appalachian Basin states of West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

Even with all this exciting news, we still face glaring challenges. Commodity prices are decreasing and are projected to remain low for the foreseeable future. Burdensome lawsuits and imprudent regulatory and environmental policies have hindered pipeline projects that provide necessary natural gas takeaway capacity.  At the same time, pipeline construction jobs have been cut in half.

We must encourage the use of natural gas in West Virginia. We must adopt policies that make West Virginia competitive with its neighboring states. We must work to encourage new facilities, including natural gas for power generation, that will use our products within the state and boost investment and employment. Downstream investment represents a huge economic multiplier for the state.

Natural gas producers and natural gas utilities cannot succeed alone. Companies in the state’s natural gas industry have come to see the strength in shared success.

GO-WV proudly speaks with a unified voice as we spread our message throughout the state and beyond. It’s truly a message of hope for the Mountain State.

This data underlies the industry’s vital impact. I hope this information is helpful, and I encourage you to contact our office at 304.344.9867 if you have questions. Thank you.